Kmart‘s latest home range has just dropped and it celebrates First Nations people and culture. They’ve partnered with renowned Wiradjuri artist Judith Young to showcase a unique combination of traditional techniques and symbolic representation, including Waluwin, the Wiradjuri word for healing and good health.
“It was a new experience for me, working with a big company and a challenge at first,” admits Judith. “The design team had respect not just for the image but the story and helped make it an easier process, as I did have some challenges with trust and getting out of my comfort zone. But to see how they were really careful when considering each marking, colour and every component was incredible. I felt respected and know that my story and that of my family has been honoured.”
Judith adds her work is about health, healing, joy and peace, speaking to the importance of healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. “This comes from connecting with country, eating well and listening to your surroundings. The collection is about covering yourself in a healthy way of living, from what you eat, drink, wear, and sleep under.”
She adds: “The leaves represented in the art are symbolic of the Waluwin way and each leaf represents something different. Many Aboriginal people around this country will all have different varieties of plants and trees that they use to make them well and that is part of the diverse story we have as Aboriginal people. We are all different, our artwork and stories are different, and each has deep significance, just as my markings have meaning to me and my family. I always remember going back to Narrandera (where her parents grew up) and how Mum spoke about the beautiful wattle trees which bring yiing (joy) to the soul.”
Judith wanted to show how important it is to spend time in the bush and connect with creation, just as her ancestors did. “Our lands give health. When you connect with country you leave feeling refreshed and cleansed,” she said. She hopes her work can also help people bring Waluwin into their homes.
Kmart’s general manager of corporate affairs and sustainability, Tracie Walker, said: “As we work towards a more reconciled Australia, here at Kmart we strive to be a trusted and credible partner of First Nations people.”
Speaking of what drew her to the project, Judith said: “A lot of our mob positively connect and shop at Kmart around Australia, so to have the opportunity to work with them on this collection will have an impact on families across Victoria, regional NSW, Sydney, Darwin and Adelaide.”
The collection is available in store and online now, and includes bedding, home décor, serving ware, candles, tea towels, decorative pots and more.
Shop Waluwin collection online